OPERATION ODESSA (Reuters) – The operator of a forklift and the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident on a highway in Venezuela on Friday said they were working for the same company, and both had received government incentives for the incident.
“We are working together for the benefit of all, and this is a job that is good for everyone,” operator Francisco Daza said.
The crash, which happened just after 5:00 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), took place in a parking lot at the junction of the highway where a truck carrying goods had been stopped.
The driver of the truck was able to get out and escape the accident.
He said he was one of the first drivers to pull out of the accident, and that the other driver had to be rescued.
He had received the incentives for his accident as well as for his previous accident, he added.
Both drivers had received incentives to get themselves out of accidents in Venezuela.
The accident took place near the intersection of the San Martín-El Capitan highway and the road connecting the city of Odessa to the provincial capital of Iguala, the government-controlled state where a student uprising in 2013 ended with more than 150 deaths.
On Saturday, President Nicolas Maduro said the government was investigating the incident, adding that he would be giving an update on the accident later on Friday.
The driver of that truck, Alejandro Peralta, said he believed he had been on his way to work when he hit the truck with a trailer and a trailer with a flat tire.
The National Highway and Transport Authority (ATAC) said it would send the driver to a hospital for evaluation, and Peralca was not seriously injured.
The company that owned the forklift that crashed is not named, and a spokesman said it was not part of the company’s fleet.
He also said that a second forklift driver had been driving the truck that crashed, but he was not injured.
The company’s name is not immediately known.
Venezuela’s economic crisis, with inflation and shortages of basic goods, has led to a spike in traffic fatalities, and has also left many unemployed.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)